It's a recurring quote that nearly every car owner featured in this magazine starts his or her interview with: "I fell in love with modified cars since before I could drive." Shouldn't be a surprise but my answer is the same. I remember as a freshman in high school sitting in first period English, I'd be zoning out the teacher while flipping through one of my favorite magazines. I wasn't old enough to drive, nor had the bankroll to even think about buying a new car or aftermarket parts, but I aspired to build my own project one day. I had subscriptions to Super Street, Sport Compact Car, Turbo, Max Power, Car Audio... I can still remember cutting up magazines and gluing photos of my favorite rides on my school binder. Frankly, magazines got me hooked on all types of builds from JDM to Euro. When I made it to college, I picked up my first car (which I still own today!) and continued to use mags for inspiration and a guide to find the parts.
Fast-forward to 2014. I'm 31-years-young and now work for one of the magazines I looked up to and loved growing up. But the media world as we know it has changed. Great brands were lost over the years, and we were again shook this year when sister publications Honda Tuning, Import Tuner and Modified were laid to rest (Note: These brands are still alive digitally, but their full-time staff and print product are no more.) Our higher-ups explain the recent removal of legacy brands as a blend of restructuring and a sharper focus on titles geared for the new digital landscape. But lez be honest... The changes within our company are just a sign of the times - people ingest information differently, companies advertise in new ways, and many enthusiasts don't view mags as the resources they used to be. Websites, forums, search engines and social media are what many of us rely on - ain't gonna lie, I'm guilty of checking my Instagram and Facebook every three minutes. But because of this growing social shift to digital, those 100-to-300-page bound booklets of paper that we've treasured over the years have retired. Don't get us wrong, you're picking this up right now because people like you and I still care about print, but truthfully, most people can get their information at the click of a button on their phones or on their laptop - and for free! It's a tough thing to beat; however, let's not lose hope because like all things evolution is necessary and as enthusiasts, we're still hungry for content!
So what will make the magazine industry stronger? I'm not going to tell you to support print. That's your choice and your hard-earned money. On behalf of the Super Street team and contributors, our goal will be to differentiate ourselves by offering more exclusive content and a better overall product. Long-term, we want Super Street to be a premium magazine you'll once again be proud to put on your coffee table and save on your bookshelf (if you're not already doing so!). And to keep up with the times, video, large galleries, breaking news and web/social-only content will also be in large supply online for your viewing pleasure.
The recent passing of print titles HT, IT and MOD... let it be a wake-up call. Super Street can never replace or be a substitute for our fallen comrades, but we're going to bust our asses that much harder to support every event, shop and car builder out there. Our scene is far from dying. Roll through to most events and you'll see just as many cars on display and people walking around as you did back in the day. We encourage you to support your local shows and get-togethers. Instead of talking shit on each other's rides, help one another out and start showing support and respect where it's due. Let's work together. Keep pushing us to make a better magazine and let's push each other to make our scene bigger, better and badder than it's ever been.